Cavities – Are They Contagious?
Conditions like chickenpox and colds are contagious, but you’ll be surprised to know that even cavities can be contagious.
Eating a lot of sugar-laden candies isn’t the only cause of cavities. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria feed on the food particles in your mouth and produce acid. The mix of food particles, saliva, acid, and bacteria clings to the teeth forming a filmy substance known as plaque. Plaque, if left untreated, can result in teeth enamel erosion, leading to cavity formation.
Regardless of what you eat, tooth cavities will not develop without the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are contagious and can spread via shared utensils and food, kissing, sneezing and more.
Here are some tips that can help prevent your family against cavities:
- Visit the dentist. According to an experienced dentist at Brighton Implant Clinic, scheduling regular dental checkups is very important to prevent cavities as well as other oral health conditions.
- Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash. If you have developed a cavity, a filling will be required. However, for early stage tooth decay, a dental professional can ask you to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine, which fights off germs and prevents decay.
- Don’t overshare. Kids have greater chances of catching cavities. Therefore, avoid sharing utensils with your kids, teach your kids to cover their mouths while sneezing and kiss your kids on their cheeks instead of lips.
- Chew sugarless gum. Chew a gum that has xylitol in it for a minimum of 5 minutes, three times a day. Xylitol increases the production of saliva, which helps combat bacteria.
- Drink tap water. Tap water contains fluoride, which is good for your teeth. So try to switch from bottled water to tap water to prevent your teeth from cavity formation.